This monthly blog from The Maker City features a look at some of the Knoxville area’s outstanding makers – artists, crafters and custom builders. This month’s blog introduces three area makers who excel in paper, lettering and graphic design. 

Carrie Garrison Artwork Carrie Garrison Artwork

Carrie Garrison, Foolish Designs
Carrie Garrison

How did you get started as a graphic designer? 
Drawing and making things was always something that came naturally to me. I was originally a studio art major but switched to graphic design last minute when struggling to find a career path. So much of my work tends to fall on the creative side of the design world. After graduating, like many, I accidentally created a small business during my pandemic free time and now I sell my designs on a variety of products ranging from t-shirts to stickers to art prints. 

What do you make, and how? 
I make a little bit of everything these days. Lately I've been very interested in ceramics and sculpture, but I'm always taking on freelance design projects and illustration commissions. I usually have about a million design side projects in the works. 

Where are your products offered for sale?  
Etsy. I also have many of my earrings, stickers, and prints at Rala in the Old City. For a freelance design project or more specific commission, contact me on my Instagram @foolish.designs, or email

Born and raised in the Fountain City area of Knoxville, Carrie Garrison always had a crayon in her hand, upgrading to a paintbrush in middle school. She earned a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Tennessee, graduating in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. “While much of my work the past year has been reigniting my love of sculpture, there is always a fun challenge in creating a logo I will always love. I recently moved into West Fifth Studios, with the intention to give more time to my craft, and can't wait to see what goodness I create from my new little haven.”  

Hannah Bingham Artwork Hannah Bingham Artwork

Hannah Bingham, High Five Hannie 

Hannah Bingham Artwork

How did you get started as a printmaker/painter/creator of art? 
I started drawing and painting conceptually and thematically as long ago as late elementary school and continued to practice and take painting-specific classes through high school. In middle school I created a series of postage stamps to trade with my best friend, and characters for short visual stories. 

Growing up with little to lend financially to higher education I never went to art school and don’t know that I ever considered it, honestly. I’ve always practiced creativity and found a lot of pride in it as I watched myself get better. I think that as I got older and painted even more as an adult and my skill set grew and became more tuned, I just naturally stepped into it as a career.  

What do you make, and how? 
I paint portraits, nature, and animals, mostly in acrylics, and watercolors and oils from time to time, depending on what the project calls for. I’m known around town as the mini pet portrait artist. When I’m not painting on commission, I focus on nature and animals to symbolize and represent human experiences.  

Where are your products offered for sale? and Instagram at @highfivehannie. I have a few things at Rala in the Old City, and I collaborate frequently with Honeymouth. That will be an exciting thing for folks to keep their eye on! 

Award-winning, published, self-taught artist Hannah Bingham, known as Hannie to family and friends, was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and went to an international school in Papua, Indonesia before moving back to her parents’ home state of Pennsylvania. After her college years in upstate New York and some time back in Pennsylvania, she moved to Knoxville in 2014 to be with her musician partner. Both briefly lived in New Jersey as part of the Episcopal Service Corps; they moved back to Knoxville in 2015 and have been here ever since. 

“My goal is to create a shared experience between me -- the artist -- and the collector, forcing a pause to find all of the little things hidden literally and metaphorically in my pieces. To me, the experience and connection are the most important reasons for creating.”  

Erin Albright Artwork Erin Albright Artwork

Erin Albright,  Scruffy City Lettering 

Erin Albright Artwork

How did you get started as a letterer? 
I took a basic hand lettering class with a friend. I was terrible! It did not come naturally at all. I found my own consistent style almost three years after I started. After I had my daughter Scout in 2016, I realized that I had quite a bit of time on my hands as a new mom that didn’t get to sleep much! I found lettering relaxing and a good coping mechanism for my new role and stage of life.  

By 2019, friends were asking to pay me to letter their chalkboards for events. That’s when the business aspect started. 

What do you make and how? 
I make wood signs and acrylic signs, and my specialty is in design and font creation. Clients can choose between different handmade fonts, colors, backgrounds. Signage -- welcome and guestbook signs, menus, seating charts with corresponding table numbers and name cards, and timelines -- gives wedding/event guests clear directions, to maximize party time. And it can be keepsake home decor!  

I have a passion for recycling and often assemble signs out of pallet wood. Sanding down the pallets is like opening a Christmas present! I love that one person’s trash is my treasure.  

Where are your products offered for sale? 
All of my products are custom made and available to order via email or message. I do not have any click-to-buy sites. For commissions, visit or contact, 865-455-3887.  

Born in Morristown, Erin Albright has lived in Knoxville since age two. After graduating from Bearden High School she pursued studies in political science at UT with plans to be a lawyer. “You’d be surprised at how many letterers have a background in law school.” She eventually completed an associate’s degree at Pellissippi State Community College in 2009 and went into restaurant management for several years. She lives in Knoxville with her husband Matt, son Sawyer and daughter Scout. “I am always happy to donate auction items to community programs. I love Knoxville -- wouldn’t want to live anywhere else -- and the thing about Scruffy City Lettering that has been wonderful is that I am able to give back more to our community.”